Thursday, July 9, 2009

Oh, Hell No! Not In My Post-Racial America!

I had originally written a post about slain quarterback Steve McNair for today (it will post tomorrow) but, my wife brought this news story to my attention and I just had to jump on this right away. The irony of all this is that I was just telling her the other day, with America having it's first African American President, we could possibly be entering into a period some are calling "Post-Racial America", where the racial divides were slowly being broken down.

I know that for some of those who know me, they probably couldn't believe that I was saying such a thing, cynic that I can be at times. I came to this conclusion after we watched a commercial for Lowes in which an interracial couple (black man and white woman) and bi-racial child were in the store ordering materials for their home. I pointed out to my wife that 10 or 20 years ago, nobody would have filmed a commercial like that... the couple would've been either black or white. I said, "Nobody would have dared have a black man, white woman, and bi-racial child in a commercial representing the American family but, now that Barack Obama is president, they are no longer afraid."

I'm not really that naive... I was actually half-serious and half-kidding but, this story (which originally broke in Philadelphia on Tuesday with a follow-up report yesterday) that my wife made me aware of shows me that in some cases, nothing has really changed much.

As reported by NBC10 News...

More than 60 campers from Northeast Philadelphia were turned away from a private swim club and left to wonder if their race was the reason. Camper Dymire Baylor (above photo) said that he heard one white lady say, "Uh, what are all these black kids doing here? I'm scared they might do something to my child."

The Creative Steps Day Camp paid more than $1,900 to The Valley Swim Club. The Valley Swim Club is a private club that advertises open membership. But the campers' first visit to the pool suggested otherwise.

Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email... "When the minority children got in the pool, all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool. The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately."

The next day the club told the camp director that the camp's membership was being suspended and their money ($1,900 membership fee) would be refunded. Camp director Aetha Wright said, "The parents don't want the refund. They want a place for their children to swim." The campers remain unsure as to why they were no longer welcome. Camper Simer Burwell said, "They just kicked us out and we were about to go. We had our swim things and everything."

The explanation they got from the president of The Valley Swim Club, John Duesler, in a statement was either dishearteningly honest or poorly worded... "There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion and the atmosphere of the club."

My Comments...

"...CHANGE THE COMPLEXION AND ATMOSPHERE OF THE CLUB!" This is so blatantly racist that I don't understand why I'm the only one upset about this story. I don't care if they did refund the money... that was racial discrimination and somebody ought to be in court! The only thing this club didn't do was put up a sign that said, "White's Only." I doubt if anybody in Mississippi would be this bold today in 2009. Yet, this happened in Upper Moreland Township, a suburb of Philadelphia, PA!

While the parents await an apology, the camp was scrambling to find a new place for the kids to beat the summer heat and go swimming. In a follow-up story yesterday, NBC10 news reported yesterday that they received responses to the story from all over the country and Girard College in Philadelphia offered the kids a place to swim but, that is just putting a bandage on the problem. I hope that this story doesn't die. I hope that local civil rights leaders picket this swim club. In fact, I'll join them if they decide to do so. This is BS at its finest and they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it! Not today, not ever. Not in my post-racial America!

26 comments:

SLC said...

I read about this earlier today on another blog and immediately thought about sending you a message via FB to get your perspective. Any apology would be a total lie and a lame effort to save face. Right now I hear Cindy Lauper...... True Colors......Shining Through

BorednTalkative said...

Wow. In this day and age? An apology and a refund is definitely not enough.

"There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion and the atmosphere of the club." WTF??!! You are right, they really shouldn't be allowed to get away with this. What a load of bull!!

The F$%K it List said...

Again my dear Keith Great Minds! I just wrote about this.

I am really disgusted by this story, but not at all surprised. I keep hearing the term post racial America thrown around but I don't believe we will EVER reach that because white America has never dealt with the issue of race and slavery. I hope the people of North Philly stand up about this.

Blu Jewel said...

When I read this yesterday, my honest and immediate response was, "WTF? REALLY?" I'm sick to friggin death of the other folk thinking we're not good enough. If not for US this country and many throughout the damn world wouldn't have half the things they do. Our children have every damn right to be a part of the societal institutions/activities in and around their communities. Ugh! That really ticks me off.

Wanna know another thing that ticks me off? The fact that racism is STILL so friggin prevalent. Are we really still that far behind? Apparently so.

Love to live; live to love!

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

Post racial America is a bunch of BS...I'm never going to fall for it.

Thoughts of a Southern gal said...

I'm lost for words.

RainaHavock said...

I was just talking about that on another site. Post-Racial America is a illusion. Then some white guy told me that this was an "isolated incident." T_T Ain't that some of the most stupidest ish you ever heard? How many more incidents like this is it going to take before people realize there is no such thing.

James Perkins said...

Some things never change bruh! I'm not surprised.

Simon Bastion said...

Incredible..I can't believe they would have the gual to even say something like that with a straight face.

Grover Tha Playboy said...

That's just foul!

Jazzy said...

Why is everyone so surprised? Where do you think you are? This is Amerika man...

Swaggie said...

There is a protest planned for this afternoon...So glad you spoke on this Keith. I knew you would,the minute I heard th story.

Tate2 said...

In this day and age? Man, this is unbelievable.

Sean said...

I'm getting tired of begging other folk to accept us..It's time we got
our own.

Captain Jack said...

Such small mindeness...IT's a disgrace!

Toni said...

Post Racial America? I never fell for that okey doke!

Rich Fitzgerald said...

In this day and age, it's exactly what i expect. However, I would still fight it because our kids deserve better than that. They have to know that we are willing to stand up and fight for them. But racist folks aren't going to change because of it. It's more a statement to our community than it is theirs.

Angie B. said...

That swim club makes our entire Tri State Area Look Bad!

Sunflower said...

I saw this on the news yesterday and I couldn't believe it!

Lisa said...

Post Racial America? HA! That's a joke!

Halo said...

Those parents who made those dispicable comments ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Vanessa said...

What can I say Keith? Small minded and racist people never went anywhere, as yesterday's incident proves..and they don't have to be from the South either.

Cheryl said...

A shame before God.

Brenda said...

The shame of it is..None of those people,not the private club owners and management or those horrid parents feel as though they did anything wrong...and until they do..nothing will ever change.

Arlene said...

Keith, We're here in Chicago and heard this story on NBC national news. We CAN believe it. And yes I'm as cynical as you, probably much, much more. Even our Senator Spector (and you know what I think of him!) weighed in on this and called for a federal investigation. Now Arlen needs the support of every black Pennsylvanian, hopefully registered Democrat, to win another term in the senate, so he'd better speak up for these kids. And the rest of us too. Silence is not an option.

12kyle said...

i saw this story on the nbc national news tonight. i can't say that i was shocked. you hate to expose young kids to bigotry and racism but there's a lesson to be learned here. although there are no fire hoses, dogs, and segregated public places...the struggle remains.




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